More than 30 students from St. Joseph’s University, New York presented their undergraduate research during the annual Student Research Symposium on Saturday, April 29, at the University’s Long Island Campus.
Undergraduate students from a range of academic disciplines shared their research with their classmates, faculty, staff, friends and family in the form of posters, presentations and art exhibits.
The event also featured keynote speaker Gregory Bruno ’12, Ph.D., who recently published a book about his own research entitled “Theory and Practice for Literacy in the Prison Classroom: An Inquiry Approach for Students and Educators.”
“Research is not something necessarily that you present,” said Dr. Bruno, who graduated from St. Joseph’s in 2012 with a B.A. in English and a minor in Psychology. “Research is something that is living. It is part of a process, and it will kind of agglutinate onto other processes as it moves forward.”
Dr. Bruno, an assistant professor of English and a co-director of the Writing Program at Kingsborough Community College, started his own line of research after being compelled by how both the prison system and the education system were failing so many people. It’s also what led him to teaching literacy in jails and prisons — something he began doing as an adjunct professor at St. Joseph’s University.
Two of the student presenters at the symposium received the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship last year. One a biology major and one psychology, they shared their findings with the audience.
Blanca Reyes, who expects to graduate in May with a B.A. in Psychology as a Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC), focused her research on predicting student success in a post-pandemic era.
“My favorite part of the SURF experience was bringing my vision to life, and conducting my own research while being guided with the expertise of someone who has been in the field of psychology and as a researcher,” said Reyes, who worked alongside faculty adviser Corinne Donovan, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology.
Caitlin Anetrella, a senior biology major with a concentration in adolescence education at the Long Island Campus, worked with faculty mentor Konstantine Rountos, Ph.D., and analyzed the impact microplastics have on grass shrimp.
“I want to thank the SURF program for giving me this opportunity to conduct my research over the summer,” Anetrella said. “It was a great experience. I hope this summer’s recipients have the same experience I did. I also want to thank the biology department for giving me the knowledge and skills to complete this research.”